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ballet dancers and wedge-shaped feet


Ballet dancers use different techniques when it comes to dancing en pointe; some are able to use the tips of their toes (header pic), others find they are only able to raise themselves into the required position by improvising (figs 1 and 2).

In these instances, the dancers have utilised the level side of their malformed big toes to achieve the desired balance and position. This practice has given the left foot of one dancer a distinctive wedge-shaped appearance (fig 1), and is as described by Paul Lawson when he examined the feet of the Somerton Man, who has long been suspected of being a ballet dancer by reason of his overdeveloped calves.


With thanks to Michelle Potter.


Header pic is Baryshnikov

More reading:

More evidence:



4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ellen #

    Bunions aren’t rare and some non-athletes have well developed calves.

    January 9, 2018
  2. Bunions are common with ballet dancers, probably more so than any other occupation, as are wedge-shaped feet.

    January 9, 2018
  3. bdid1dr #

    Never mind ballet dancers ! Take a good look at cowboys’ feet. Take a good look at any cowboy’s feet — Australian or North American or South American…..


    January 17, 2018
    • I have …. as a matter of fact I’ve got one of Australia’s champion rodeo horsemen living on the neighbouring property – all his boots fit him, they are leather and supple over years of use, and when he stands in his stirrups he’s on the balls of his feet.

      January 17, 2018

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